Last month, in my new role as Director of LEAP Europe, I was invited to do a talk at the SSDP conference in London. It was great to meet the key SSDP organisers, and also share a platform with Jason Reed, the co-ordinator of LEAP UK.
The student activists of SSDP are demanding that our political classes instigate a mature, fact-based discussion about the “war on drugs”.
Sorry to rehash all the well-known articles about why this “war” is such a failure on every conceivable front, but just let me reiterate three key points: prohibition will always fail (as this classic “Yes Minister” scene depicts), and the regulation and taxation of recreational drugs (in the same way as alcohol and tobacco) would be good for society and for the economy; it would decapitate organised crime and, in some cases, the funding of terrorism; and it would make the use and possible abuse of recreational drugs a health issue rather than a criminal matter.
The students get this — why can’t our politicians?
Jason and I had a warm welcome from the SSDP. They can see the value of law enforcement professionals — police, judges, lawyers, and customs and intelligence officers — using their experience to contribute to the debate. I look forward to LEAP working more closely with the SSDP.
And do drop me an email if you would like to help LEAP in Europe.